Jazz saxophonist and composer Phil Dwyer grew up on the west coast of British Columbia. His father and his father before him worked as lumberjacks and lived in lumber camps built on rafts that would float from one tract of standing timber to another.
It was among the mountains and the idyllic settings of the Cowichan Valley that his father introduced his son to his sizable collection of jazz and classical recordings. Mt. Dwyer quickly developed a passion for music, and with it a talent for playing. He first learned the piano, and by the time he reached high school he fell in love with the saxophone.
By the time he was 17, Mr. Dwyer was in the hotbed of jazz, New York, studying under such luminaries as Steve Grossman and David Leibman and playing with people like Tom Harrell, Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler and Moe Koffman. Mr. Dwyer has been nominated for 15 Juno awards over his career and he’s won seven times, either as a player, composer, or arranger. Mr. Dwyer has also appeared as a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto, McGill, and Arizona State as well as London’s Royal Academy of Music.
Ken Rockburn spoke to Phil Dwyer near his home on Vancouver Island.
A veteran journalist and broadcaster widely recognized for his irreverent and entertaining interview and presentation style, Ken is an award-winning journalist with almost 40 years of experience on radio and television. He first joined CPAC in 2001 as host of Talk Politics which ran for eight seasons. He returned to CPAC in 2010 to host Rockburn Presents. Prior to joining CPAC, Ken hosted CBC Radio’s All In a Day, CBC TV Ottawa’s Rockburn and Company and was news director at CHEZ-FM in Ottawa.